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In recent weeks I’ve noticed increased media mentions of a possible shift in the housing market and new questions about whether we’re headed for a nationwide housing downturn.
Nationally Here Are 4 Stats That Prove This Isn’t 2005 All Over Again
Recent research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) examined certain red flags that caused the housing crisis in 2005, and then compared them to today’s real estate market. Today I’ll concentrate on four of those red flags because they were all outside historical norms in 2005. Home prices were way above normal ratios when compared to both rents and incomes at the time.
Here are the categories with percentages reflecting the unrealistic ratios and numbers of 2005 as compared to the current national market. Remember, a negative percentage reflects a positive gain for the market.
- Price to Rent Ratio: -18%
- Price to Income Ratio: -12%
- Percentage of Mortgaged Purchases: -15%
- Percentage of House Flipping: -50%
Locally Here Are 4 More Stats Proving This Isn’t 2005 All Over Again
Looking a bit closer to home for insight with regard to a possible housing market shift, if we examine the four indicators of a housing market downturn: days on market, inventory of homes for sale, median sales price and closed sales volume we have further evidence that, at least as far as Boston real estate is concerned, no downward shift in the housing market is evident.
The Bottom Line
They say hindsight is 20/20 and today, experts are keeping a close watch on the potential red flags that went unnoticed in 2005 so take what you hear nationally about the market with a grain of salt because Boston real estate does not neatly conform to national trends.
Whether you are relocating from another city or from the surrounding Massachusetts suburbs, Boston is a unique place! Here are some things to know as you make your transition.
Things to Know Before Moving to Boston
Inexpensive Housing. Not something you hear in Boston. Boston is one of the priciest urban areas and depending on where you are moving from, you might experience some sticker shock. But for some reason that doesn’t keep new residents away! We’ve fallen in love with urban living and the culture, proximity to shops, restaurants, and the vast career opportunities. More info
Think Fast. If you are looking to rent or buy, you don’t have a long time to contemplate your options Boston is fast moving. Not only are our sports teams competitive so is our real estate market. Be ready to apply, or make your offer before someone else swoops in! Explore available housing and let us help! More info
WalkUP. Boston is ranked #3 for walkable urbanism. Boston has and is experiencing a redevelopment of its central city which has resulted in this high ranking, and a reputation for walkability to urban offices, retail and multi-family rental space. It’s safe to say you could get by without having a car.
Parking. If you just can’t live without your car, be prepared. In certain Boston neighborhoods parking has been referred to as a “contact sport”, especially during the winter months. Resident parking stickers are required in certain neighborhoods so be sure to register and insure your vehicle in Massachusetts. In many neighborhoods more parking stickers are issued than parking spots exist. Learn more about parking and street regulations. More info
Public Transportation. Boston does offer several means of transportation, if you do decide to ditch your car. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) manages the subway lines (what us Bostonians call the T), the city buses, the commuter rail, and ferries. All making it easy and fairly quick to get from point A to B. More info
Recreation.Boston lacks the major concrete jungle feel most cities have. We are lucky to have so much green and multi-use space scattered throughout the city. To name a few… Boston Harbor/Harbor Islands, Charles River Esplanade, Boston Public Garden, Boston Common, Lawn on D, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Paul Revere Park, Arnold Arboretum, Emerald Necklace… you get the idea! More info
Pet Friendly. There are many pet friendly neighborhoods in Boston, and as mentioned above plenty of accessible green space for you and your pal to get outside and exercise. We consider pet friendly neighborhoods to be those not only close to city green space, but those with off leash areas, pet friendly businesses, and vet clinics. The top neighborhoods being Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Charlestown, South End, South Boston and The Waterfront.
Move In. July to September (aka RIGHT NOW!) are by far the busiest move in times. Apartment leases renew, move in for all of the 50+ colleges in the Metro Boston area occur, and families want to get settled in their new homes before sending the little ones back to school. Let’s just say it can be a chaotic time, but worth it to live in what we consider the BEST city!
Street Occupancy Permit. Moving is laborious and expensive, but this one expense will save you a major headache on the day of your move. If you have a big ole moving truck parked in the middle of a one way street in the South End… you might not win the favor of your new neighbors. Avoid this by obtaining a moving truck permit from city hall. More info
Moving Trucks. Something Bostonians find comical and even place bets on, is when the first moving truck will get wedged under the bridge on Storrow Drive. Our bet is September 1st… The lanes are narrow, the underpasses are low and the speed is decent. So remind your movers when they see the ‘NO TRUCKS OR BUSES’, ‘CARS ONLY’ and “CLEARANCE 10 ft” signs, not to chance it! Photos
The Bottom Line
Relocating to a new city can be a challenge, but in our opinion you’ve picked the best city and once you have arrived it will all be worth it!
Here’s July 2016’s Monthly Indicators report from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors® showing Boston real estate market trends.
July 2016 Greater Boston Real Estate Market Trends
Even as prices rise in many communities, homes are selling faster now than they have in the past several years. This creates a situation where buyers need to move fast in order to secure homes, and they may have to pay more for them. While increasing prices generally coax more selling activity, there has been some hesitancy among potential sellers who worry that they will not be able to buy a desirable and reasonably priced home once they sell.
- July single-family home sales – DOWN -16.1% over last year
- July Single-family median prices were UP + 4.5% to $575,000
- July condo sales – DOWN -17.4% and median prices UP +7.6% ($495,000)
- Inventory in July DOWN – 23.1% to 2,850 and Condominiums DOWN – 23.0% to 1,457
- SF listings added to the market in July DOWN – 18.8% over last year. (1,323 from 1,630 in 2015)
- Condo listings added to the market DOWN – 1.1% over last year. (1,105 from 1,117 in 2015)
Interested In Specific Neighborhood / Area Real Estate Market Trend Data?